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US senators denounce amnesty provisions in Iraq national reconciliation plan

[JURIST] Several US senators condemned parts of a national reconciliation proposal [JURIST report] designed to end the Iraqi insurgency and facilitate reconstruction, which was unveiled to the Iraqi parliament Sunday by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki [BBC profile]. US lawmakers particularly criticized a part of the plan that grants amnesty to insurgents and opposition figures responsible for killing US troops, as long as the insurgents have no ties to terrorism. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) [official website], ranking member of the Armed Services Committee [official website], said on Fox News Sunday [podcast], "the idea that they should even consider talking about amnesty for people who have killed people who liberated their country is unconscionable." Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. John Warner (R-VA) [official website], however, said he disagrees with the amnesty plan but that the US must respect Iraq's sovereignty and right to implement the plan. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) [official website] added on Face the Nation [transcript, PDF] that he hopes Maliki's final reconciliation plan will remove granting amnesty to insurgents responsible for US deaths because the plan will "run into solid opposition" in the US.

Maliki addressed the Iraqi parliament Sunday on a new national reconciliation plan after having released 2,300 detainees [JURIST report] in US and Iraqi custody in recent weeks to encourage reconciliation. The new proposal includes broad efforts to stop human rights violations, improve prison conditions, remove political obstacles for groups that have no ties to terrorism, compensate victims of violent crimes, make the judiciary independent in order to prosecute criminals and make the armed forces independent of political ties. AP has more.

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